Ajit Pawar to return as deputy chief minister
Barely 10 weeks after he quit after his name cropped up in the alleged irrigation scam in the state, senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar will return as Maharashtra's deputy chief minister today
Ajit Pawar will be sworn-in at 9.30 am by Governor K Sankaranarayanan.
Pawar, nephew of NCP chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, had suddenly quit the cabinet on September 25 after his name figured in the alleged multi-crore scam.
A top NCP office-bearer said that “the post had been kept vacant for Ajit Pawar” and it was just a matter of time before he re-joined the state cabinet.
The move comes just days after Ajit Pawar got a clean chit in the alleged scam and before the winter session of the legislature — expected to be a stormy affair with the irrigation scam expected to figure in a big way — opens in Nagpur next week.
He is expected to defend himself, the NCP and the Congress-NCP alliance against the probable opposition onslaught on the issue.
Besides, the NCP is also planning to deploy Ajit Pawar, a fire-brand speaker in the ensuring Gujarat assembly elections.
His abrupt resignation had created a political storm and was quickly followed by all the remaining 19 NCP ministers in the state cabinet also offering to quit, plunging the ruling Democratic Front government in a crisis.
However, they were pacified by the party chief Sharad Pawar, even as intense lobbying started to project Ajit Pawar as the next chief minister.